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It took a couple of days for word to reach the villages and farms in the North that a massive contest had taken place along the bank of the Tennessee River. And the initial reports seemed to indicate “another Union victory, with moderate casualties,” such as resulted for the Union at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson and Island No.10 …but after those initial reports, other stories began to appear, not just from embedded reporters, but letters and other eyewitness accounts from soldiers themselves, and these presented sensational details at odds with the initial rosy narrative. And these details grew progressively horrific: not hundreds of casualties, but thousands… maybe tens of thousands…

Suddenly, Casualty Lists were in demand; but the Northern newspapers could not provide them. As occurred after Forts Henry and Donelson, the regional papers contacted Chicago for details… and were given only Chicago-specific lists of casualties. And the Horror of Shiloh continued, with full Casualty Lists never appearing in most Northern newspapers: the affected families were slowly and sporadically informed of the fate of their loved ones by mail: comrades of their sons and fathers who knew what happened (or thought they did); and official letters of condolence when facts could be positively determined. Meanwhile, the waiting, and not knowing, became almost intolerable…

Unknown to the people in the North, one newspaper had taken extraordinary steps to compile a Master Casualty List of Wounded Men, and that paper was not in Chicago or Cincinnati, but St. Louis. Beginning with the April 15th edition, the Daily Missouri Republican published names of wounded men who arrived at St. Louis aboard the Hospital boat, D.A. January (two full columns on Page One.) And although Hospital boats Crescent City and City of Louisiana soon arrived at St. Louis, other boats pressed into service as floating Hospitals offloaded their human cargo at New Albany, Evansville, Cincinnati, Louisville, Paducah and Cairo; the Daily Missouri Republican “borrowed” reports from local papers of those river ports and repeated them on the pages of the St. Louis paper:

           17 APR page 3  Minnehaha wounded offloaded at Louisville (CSA and USA)

           18 APR page 1  John J. Roe casualties offloaded at Evansville

           19 APR page 1  War Eagle casualties arrived St. Louis

           19 APR page 2  Empress casualties arrived at St. Louis

           19 APR page 3  Magnolia casualties arrived Cincinnati

           20 APR page 1  Imperial casualties arrived St. Louis

           20 APR page 1  Black Hawk casualties arrived Cairo

           20 APR page 2  Tycoon casualties arrived 17 APR at Cincinnati

           20 APR page 2  Lancaster casualties arrived at Cincinnati

           20 APR page 2  B. J. Adams casualties arrived New Albany

In addition, edition for 22 APR page 3 lists all of the Hospitals in St. Louis where the wounded men from Pittsburg Landing were housed.

Shortly after his arrival at Pittsburg Landing, Henry Halleck sent a telegram to Brigadier General Strong at Cairo (15 APR 1862): “All the wounded have been sent to Hospital. Stop all sanitary commissions, nurses and citizens. We don’t want any more.”

References:

Daily Missouri Republican, issues 9 APR through 23 APR 1862 and available:

https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/dmr/id/15091/rec/3182  Missouri Daily Republican for 15 APR 1862

https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/dmr/search/page/318   Access to all editions of Missouri Daily Republican at State Historical Society of Missouri

 

Note:  The first known reference published in the North referred to “an attack against our forces at Pittsburg Landing by Beauregard” went to print on 8 APR 1862 and was discredited as “a rumor from Paducah.”

The second reference to the Battle of Pittsburg Landing was published 9 APR 1862 and was a telegram sent from Henry Halleck to SecWar Stanton on April 8, full contents of which: “The enemy attacked our forces at Pittsburg Tennessee yesterday (April 7) but was repulsed with heavy loss. No details given.”

Further note: Beginning 15 APR 1862 the same editions of this newspaper contained names and details of Confederate prisoners captured at Battle of Pittsburg Landing and transported to St. Louis and elsewhere (initially aboard steamer, Woodfolk -- see page one, column 6.)

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